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Engine-ground-run completed

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: Engineering

Last XH558 engine ground-run for 2017

Last Saturday, XH558 completed two successful engine-ground-runs in front of two parties of visitors. In total, over 70 guests enjoyed seeing the aircraft up close, then watched and listened as the volunteer team working under Taff Stone’s guidance, prepared the aircraft for engine start. Slowly, one by one, Taff brought the four Olympus engines to life and conducted various control surface checks, before bringing selected engines up to higher speed settings to induce the famous Vulcan Howl, caused by the huge volumes of air being sucked past the edge of the air intakes – a little like blowing over the top of a bottle - but far more noisy and deeper in tone.

This was the last organised day of 2017. We will be writing soon on the preparations for winter maintenance.  


All images below courtesy of local XH558 volunteer, Andy Hellen.

Taff Stone greets the party of visitors, gives a guide to the running of their experience followed by a safety briefing.

Time to have a look around XH558 at close-quarters and to ask Taff questions.

While the ground-team prepare the aircraft, visitors move clear to the rear of XH558 and the power unit is started

Rudder and elevons are excercised, giving a great photo opportunity.

As the tour party move to the side, XH558's Olympus engines are started one after the other and the noise levels increase.

All running now, with various settings on all four engines to give XH558 a good workout! 

Moving to the front, high power is applied, the nose dips against the brakes and the famous 'Vucan Howl' is heard. 

After shutdown and cooling, visitors get a chance to see 'under the covers' as Taff makes various 'after running' checks. This gives everyone a glance at the complexity of the engine installations while they are still 'clicking' with heat - quite welcoming on a cool Autumn day!    

Very soon it will be time for final photographs and a return to the coach.

If you would like to support XH558 through the winter - you can donate here.

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